eastbrooke gardens assisted living facility One Of The Worst Assisted Living Facilities In Central Florida casselberry, Florida – I have absolutely nothing positive to say about Eastbrooke Gardens Assisted Living Facility and for good reason. My elderly parent was a resident there and thank God she no longer is. Below is a link that takes you directly to a site called AHCA. This is the agency that investigates all complaints and allegations made against facilities like Eastbrooke Gardens. Investigators arrive unannounced and as you can see by the many “deficiencies” that were found on the premises of Eastbrooke Gardens, this is a facility to avoid. After investigating numerous other facilities in Central Florida on the AHCA site, the sad truth is, almost all of these facilities have been found guilty of misconduct and deficiencies. It seems that there is nowhere safe to place your loved one. When I first began the admitting process at Eastbrooke Gardens, of course the staff were very friendly. Why wouldn't they be? The owner does not have an office there and as far as I know, he rarely visits the facility. No one would tell me who he is or where his office is. While my mother was a resident at Eastbrooke Gardens which was exactly five months, the facility fired and hired three administrators. This is one of the reasons the facility was cited. They failed to report this to the AHCA. During the admitting procedure and filling out the admitting paperwork, a list was given to me to fill out regarding my parent's belongings. I included everything my parent was going into the facility with. I was told that I had to bring in bedroom furniture for my parent as the facility does not offer this. The photos on the Internet are very misleading. The photo posted of a bedroom shows very nice bedroom furniture and decorated nicely. This is not the case. The rooms are empty. The rooms are empty, no curtains on the windows. I was very surprised that I had to spend my own money to provide my parent with a bedroom set. The residents can only have a twin bed so it takes up less room to accommodate two residents sharing a room. Each bedroom has it's own bathroom but it is located quite far away from the beds. The floors are all tile as one can imagine. Almost immediately after admitting my parent, there were problems. During a surprise night time visit, it was found that a puddle of either water or urine was in the floor between my parent's bed and the bathroom. The residents were in bed at 8 p.m.I had to walk the halls to find someone to mop up the floor and even then, I was given a hard time about it. Each time I visited my parent (no one knew I was coming), there was a problem. My parent looked like a homeless person. Unkempt, unclean, hair greasy, dirty long fingernails, stained clothing, and basically looking much older and haggard within a matter of a few weeks. After inspecting my parent's room and belongings, I found many items missing. Granted, I did not allow my parent to have any family heirlooms and jewelry in her room for fear they would never be seen again and I am glad I didn't. Within one week, my parent's expensive reading glasses were missing. Little by little, my parent's clothing began to disappear and replaced with items that belonged to other residents. I made several formal complaints but nothing was ever done about it. The excuse given to me by the administrative assistant, Cindy Hamilton and two head nurses, Michelle and Priscilla told me that the residents go into each others rooms and take things. They claimed the staff was unable to stop this behavior. I began receiving late night phone calls from a staff member by the name of Dennis telling me that my parent had 'fallen'. I was told by Dennis that no one saw my parent fall and no one knows what happened. Dennis assured me my parent was not seriously injured but by law, he had to call me. Directly after this call, I made a surprise visit to the facility and noticed that the halls in the facility are very wide and there was not one hand rail on any of the walls to assist the residents in walking. I also noticed that there were no surveillance cameras anywhere in the facility to watch the residents while they wandered the halls. According to what I read on the AHCA site, all residents are to be assisted by a staff member especially at night due to the fact that some residents cannot fall asleep early and tend to wander the halls. During my parent's stay at Eastbrooke Gardens, my parent 'fell' three times and each 'fall' was at night. No one witness any of the 'falls'. The last 'fall' was so severe that my parent had to be rushed to the emergency room where my parent sustained a huge, swollen black eye. There were no indications that my parent had 'fallen' and because my parent is on blood thinners, it seemed to me that if my parent had actually fallen, there would be bruising in other places such as the knees, arms, elbows, etc. This was not the case. The injury to my parent's face looked as if someone had punched my parent directly in the face with a fist. My parent was tested with a CT scan, blood work was done, etc. and released back to the facility. The very next morning when I visited my parent, I was approached by a staff member who whispered in my ear that my parent did not fall. She would not divulge exactly what happened for fear of losing her job.I received a phone call one day from a former staff member who had been fired and this person wanted me to know if I didn't see him any longer, it was because he had been let go. His 'case' was under investigation. He told me he was “let go” because the administration felt he was “unhappy”. I asked him if he could tell me anything about the night staff and told him what happened to my parent. He told me that during the day, there are more staff of course so the residents are watched and assisted. At night he said, is a completely different 'story'. He stated that most of the staff members are rarely around, some leave the facility when they aren't supposed to, some find places to sleep, some watch television and hardly any of the staff assist the residents who like to stay up past 8 p.m. I had a feeling that this was the case but wanted to hear it from this former staff member. He of course did not name names because he didn't want to get anyone in trouble and he was appealing his termination. There were other numerous problems while my parent was a resident at Eastbrooke Gardens. Someone in the front office began returning my parent's checks to the source which in turn caused a multitude of problems. The checks were payment for my parent to live at Eastbrooke. When the payments were returned to the sender, the facility began sending the bills to me thinking that I had became the payee which was not true. After some investigation, the fault fell on the receptionist. Because of her, the payments were late. Not only that, because she returned my parent's social security check to the social security administration, the administration assumed my parent was deceased so they discontinued payment of course. This in turn caused a great deal of trouble. I had to physically take my parent to the social security office to prove my parent was alive. This had to be done twice. My parent is not mobile and it was quite a hassle taking my parent there and waiting for hours just to prove that my parent was very much alive. Also, the social security office is nowhere close to where I live. More problems began occurring at the facility. During one particular visit, the nurse practitioner just happened to be there doing her rounds. My parent and I were sitting in the dining hall and the nurse practitioner came over to do the vitals. I pointed out that my parent was covered in some kind of rash. I noticed this because my parent had been scratching non-stop during our visit. The nurse practitioner said the rash was most likely a 'contact' dermatitis which is very common in facilities. She said she would write a prescription for cream. I requested that a dermatologist take a look instead and the nurse practitioner assured me she would have one check my parent. This never happened. I also pointed out that my parent had some kind of lesion on the side of my parent's face and I wanted this checked out as soon as possible. This was never done either. The 'lesion' had scabbed over and my parent had a bad habit of picking at it causing it to bleed. I had pointed this out numerous times and was always 'assured' that the facility physician would look at it. My parent was suddenly discharged from the facility and I was sent a letter giving me forty-five days to find another facility for my parent. The reason (they claimed) was due to the three 'falls' my parent had while in their care. Cindy Hamilton, the administrative assistant stated that the facility did not want to be held responsible for any further injuries and the facility was not able to care for my parent any longer. This was a shock to me to say the least because when I admitted my parent, Cindy Hamilton told me Eastbrooke Gardens was the perfect place for my parent!!! On the day I arrived to retrieve my parent, belongings and furniture, I found almost all of my parent's belongings were missing. The janitor was the only person assisting me in disassembling the furniture and carrying it out to my truck. The janitor also was putting into plastic bags, clothing that did not belong to my parent. I removed these items and wanted to know where my parent's clothes were. The janitor began doing a search but could not find them. No one could find the sheets that I had purchased, no one could find most of my parent's clothing, shoes, etc. I began to get upset and frustrated with the incompetency of the staff's irresponsibility. I approached two head nurses who were on duty that morning and wanted to know where my parent's personal items were. They told me they were busy and I would have to wait. I waited. One of the nurses returned and began searching through plastic bins they keep smaller items in for the residents. She found a few things but not the important items. My parent's dentures and reading glasses were missing. Both head nurses had the unmitigated gall to tell me that my parent was not admitted with these items. I was livid. I insisted that my parent was and I even showed the nurses the denture cup and Polident tablets. They shrugged it off and said another resident could have put those items in my parent's room. After bringing my parent back to my home, I immediately made an appointment with a dermatologist because my parent still had the horrible rash and it had spread. The doctor took one look at my parent and said the 'rash' was not contact dermatitis, it was scabies. Scabies is a mite and is extremely contagious. This meant that my parent had suffered for nearly two months with this and had spread it to the staff and other residents. Not only did my parent have to be treated twice for this, my entire household had to be treated as well. To say I was extremely upset is putting it mildly.I called the head nurse at the facility and told her that my parent did NOT have “contact dermatitis”, it was scabies. The nurse's reply was: “Oh no. Thank you.” While at the dermatologist's office, the physician looked at the lesion on my parent's face and said it was basil cell carcinoma. Cancer. This of course had to be surgically removed and I cannot begin to explain what hoops I had to jump through to get this done. My parent has an obsession with picking. Picking lint, picking the skin on the arms and picking at this lesion. Because of insurance, because of pre-testing (biopsies, CT scan, blood work, etc), this has been one nightmare after another. I was referred to a nose, ear and throat doctor who performs surgery and had to jump through more hoops. Scheduling has been a nightmare too. Because my parent is on a lot of medications, my parent has to be cleared medically for this surgery. This has gone on now for months. Luckily this type of cancer is not the kind that spreads. I have contacted the AHCA and filed a complaint about the neglect. They did a surprise investigation and cited the facility. I contacted another agency in attempts to get the facility to reimburse my parent for the lost items but my perception is that they can't do anything about it. To file a law suit over a few items is not an option. The expense of an attorney versus the cost of the items would be a waste of money. Luckily an agency found a dentist who agreed to replace the dentures for free. After looking at other facilities on the AHCA site, I did not find one facility that didn't have citations. I do not understand how these places continue to violate laws, rules and regulations put into place by the state and continue to keep their doors open. Some of the violations I have read just make me ill. A word to those of you who have elderly parents and are considering admitting them into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Go to the AHCA website and type in the name of the facility. A PDF file will open up and there you will see every violation the facility has ever been cited with. Some have so many it will amaze you. Some have corrected the issues but some have not.